Apple has for the first time publicly acknowledged its plans to develop self-driving cars, with a letter that urges the US highways regulator to promote “fair competition” between newcomers to the automotive industry and traditional manufacturers.苹果公司(Apple)首度公开发表否认研发自动驾驶汽车的计划,该公司致信美国公路监管机构,敦促增进汽车行业新的陈慧娴企业和传统制造商之间的“公平竞争”。In an unusually direct statement accompanying the letter, an Apple spokesman confirmed its work on autonomous systems that could be used to transform “the future of transportation”.在预示该信件的一份出现异常必要的声明中,一位苹果发言人证实,苹果在自动系统领域展开了研发工作,有可能被用来转变“交通运输业的未来”。Apple’s letter touts the “significant societal benefits of automated vehicles”, which it described as a life-saving technology, potentially preventing millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year.苹果的信称赞了“自动汽车的根本性社会效益”,称之为这是一种解救生命的技术,未来将会每年避免数百万起车祸和成千上万的伤亡。The disclosure highlights how Apple may struggle to maintain its notorious secrecy in new product development as it enters more highly regulated markets, from transportation to healthcare.苹果的这一信息透露凸显,随着该公司转入从交通到医疗等监管较严苛的市场,它也许无法保持其在新产品研发上出了名的保密作法。



Hundreds of Apple staff have been working on an electric car for more than two years, people familiar with the project say. The Financial Times first reported the secret research lab, which is based outside its Cupertino headquarters in neighbouring Sunnyvale, in February last year. 据知情人士透漏,数百名苹果员工早已在一款电动汽车上工作了两年多时间。英国《金融时报》去年2月年所报导了这个秘密研发实验室的不存在,该实验室不出苹果的库比蒂诺(Cupertino)总部,而是在附近的森尼维尔(Sunnyvale)。Since then, despite leaks about the project’s sometimes difficult progress, Apple executives have refused to admit that the automotive initiative exists.此后,尽管有时爆出该项目进展艰苦的消息,但苹果高管仍然拒绝接受否认汽车项目的不存在。That position will be harder to maintain after the publication of a letter from Apple to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as part of the regulator’s regular dialogue with manufacturers about its rules for the fast-developing technology. The letter was signed by Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, and was submitted on November 22.在苹果致美国国家公路交通安全性管理局(NHTSA)的信件公开发表后,苹果将更加无法保持这一口径。

这封信归属于该监管机构与制造商就其针对这项较慢发展技术的规则展开的定期交流。苹果产品完整性总监史蒂夫.威尔玛(Steve Kenner)在信上签署,信件寄递时间是11月22日。“Apple uses machine learning to make its products and services smarter, more intuitive, and more personal,” Mr Kenner writes. “The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation.”“苹果利用机器学习使其产品和服务更加智能、更加直观、更加个性化,”威尔玛写到:“苹果公司于是以大力投资于机器学习和自动化研究,并对自动系统在多个领域的潜力深感鼓舞,还包括交通运输业。